Aerial Signal Strength

After tolerating a poor signal for a few years - which became intolerable when Channel 5 started, I signed up to cable TV. Reception problems over and more channels as well.
I am now hoping to save some money - and tried someone's Freeview Set top box. All I got was a blue screen message saying no signal - so clearly it is bad. Previous attempts to improve the signal got me a 12 foot mast - which looked so hideous as was badly fitted that I had it taken down - and the installer had to pay for repairs to my brickwork which he had shattered with a Hilti Gun. A later attempt got me a mast head amplifier - better, but then along came NTL.
My roof is virtually a pyramid shape so height is a problem.
Question - will a decent installer be able to measure the signal strength before fitting anything? I don't want to get more hardware fitted if it isn't going to get me a Freeview signal. Nearby homes have high gain aerials and presumably Freeview - but they have gable ends or chimneys. I am at the bottom of a hill.
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wrote:

He would need to go up onto the roof with an antenna on a pole as though he was fitting it and to measure not only signal strength but quality as well. For example, if there are a lot of reflections (ghosting) on your analogue picture, you may not be able to get an usable DVB-T signal - it is a combination of signal strength and quality that is important. A good installer should have a suitable test instrument.

High gain aerials increase signal strength and may also improve reflection issues. Generally what your neighbours have should be a clue.
Another option would be to get an old Sky receiver, a dish and a free to air card (if you don't want to give Rupert any money). That is likely to be more successful.
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.andy


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Did you use the menu on the Freeview box to scan for stations? You may be on a different transmitter to the one your freind is using.
IME, Freeview gets a picture even when you have a crap signal so I am suprised you dont get anything.
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I think you have something there - I realise I am aimed at Waltham - the owner of the Freeview Box is aimed at Sutton Coldfield - She didn't bring the remote control so we were a bit limited as to what we could do. I guess it is a menu driven thing.
John
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Yeah it is a menu thing. Consider getting a box from Argos, play with it, because you can always take it back.
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wrote:

oh no you can't, Argos have thought of this freeview boxes are excluded
"This item is excluded from the 16 day money back guarantee. See the Additional Information panel for full details. Please note that this product is excluded from our 16-Day Money Back Guarantee. This does not affect your statutory rights."
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Chris wrote:

Yes Chris that is very correct, you "can't" take a box back if there is nothing actually wrong with it. So you (TINY) have to be a bit creative when taking the unit back say there is something wrong with it, the person on the tills (usually) hasn't got the skills to test for "broken" electronics and they certainly won't have any equipment so they will take you (TINY) at your word and give you (TINY) a refund, they may offer to swap the box but you (TINY) can just say you have no faith anymore in that manufacturer or Argos (something at the back of my mind tells me that you (TINY) decide if you want the item replaced or a refund). Have a story ready (you (TINY) could get a signal with a friends) in case they want some background .
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 19:44:57 GMT, soup wrote:

By a decent STB on ebay - sony is as good as it gets, and you can always sell it for very little loss of cash.
Try it and see.
Ghosting and multipath is one thing that is much less of a problem on digital than analogue, but very low signal means not just a noisy picture - it means NO picture at all. I am not sure if there is antything to be gained with bossters - I have te feeling that quality STB';s are prerty sensitive already.
OTOH hefting a big multielement up high will always win over a smaller one lower down.
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Chris wrote:

Doesn't statutory rights include that it is fit for use then? Low signal strength at the OP location would infer that it is not fit for use.
Dave
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Dave wrote:

Nope, having a low signal strength has NOTHING to do with the "box" [c.f. tyres may be capable of a gazzilion miles an hour but fitting those tyres does not make your engine powerfull enough to power the car at a gazzilion miles an hour], it should never have been bought in the first place.
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 21:36:51 +0000 (UTC), Dave

That could be a tricky one in the sense that the product purchased would be the receiver only.
If the receiver is actually functional with a signal that the spec of the receiver and/or broadcaster gives but this is not achievable because of the location or antenna, it is not the manufacturer's or the supplier's fault - the product was still fit for purpose.
Following that argument would suggest that if I bought a gas cooker but didn't have a gas supply to which to connect it, then the cooker is not fit for purpose.
However......
Having said all of that, I would still return it and simply say it doesn't work.
If you return goods within 6 months, the onus is on the supplier to prove that the product worked. However, they can offer a replacement or repair rather than a refund.
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.andy


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Andy Hall wrote:

However, when I bought a freeview box from Argos, they asked for my postcide and did a postcode check by phone before selling me the box.
So, they're supplying the box for the purpose of using it at the stated postcode.
Owain
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The postcode list is based on the projected signal strength at that location. It also assumes the use of a properly installed good quality aerial of the correct group connected by reasonable quality coax.Without that you cannot expect proper performance. Expecting an old aerial, probably of the wrong group, connected to an aging, poor quality, downlead to provide an adequate signal is a bit like rutting paraffin in a Porsche and expecting it to work properly!
Peter Crosland
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Owain wrote:

Some people in our postcode get good freeview reception, and others don't, so it has to be down to the quality of the aerial
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On Fri, 23 Dec 2005 10:35:42 UTC, Stuart Noble

Or whereabouts in the postcode you are! A postcode can cover 80-odd houses, and some might be in a better position than others (e.g. a hill or a block of flats makes a difference).
Have just flashed our GDB3 back to earlier firmware to see if that helps here...!
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or the tall building just in the line of sight to the transmitter, or the tree overlooking property, or the.......
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Alan
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Alan wrote:

The predictions behind the postcode database take what is referred to as "clutter data" into account, so the effect of large buildings and groups of trees is to a considerable extent allowed for. As Bob said, the coarseness of the postcode areas is one of the main limitations.
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Andy

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Andy Wade wrote:

I'm just moving into a new flat, and after finding out my TV couldn't get CH5, looked into the 'Freeview' thing (only had terrestrial before). Looked like there were some cheapie ones out there, so checked my postcode on the Freeview website. 'Nope' it said, 'you'll need to get a new aerial to use Freeview'. Bugger.
Well, I went ahead & bought one anyway. It works perfectly! Maybe my building already had a new aerial? It was from one of those Cash Generator places. Factory refurb. Box said Matsui, unit says 'Techwood'. Quick Start guide in box (easy setup), but no 'Main User Guide' (which it mentions - maybe I can download it?) 29.99.
I am well chuffed with it! :-)
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The post code checker assumes that you have an aerial of a certain type that may only be covering only a limited range of transmitter channels. This grouping may be okay for analogue channels but digital may be transmitted on channels outside of this band.
Every transmitter is different. On some transmitters no change in aerial is required whereas on others a different group aerial is needed for digital. However, some people may already have fitted suitable aerials (to get analogue Channel 5 is some areas for instance) or they are pointing at a different transmitter to that assumed by the post code checker.
The post code checkers also are very pessimistic in their predictions. I live in the shadow of some nearby tall buildings and according to one post code checker I cannot get Freeview. I can, from Crystal Palace I can get all channels but during certain weather conditions not reliably. Turning my aerial to Bluebell Hill gets all channels reliably. Bluebell Hill requires a wideband aerial whereas a Group A aerial will have been okay for Crystal Palace..

You may have found that this is the price for a new box from the Dixons chain.
OT: I pass two 'cash converters' type establishments on the way to my local pub. Do people really pay the advertised price for the second hand goods that they sell? Perhaps people are fooled into thinking that the selling price will be cheap because these shops trade on people desperately needing quick money and the buy in price may be a very small fraction of the worth of the goods. In the real world the selling price is often the same, or exceeds, the price of a new item from elsewhere!
Links:
Post code checker http://www.wolfbane.com/cgi-bin/tvd.exe ?
If you click on the link in the resulting table (table heading OS grid ref) you will get a diagram of the terrain between you and the transmitter. You need a Postscript viewer to see the picture. A small utility can be downloaded from <http://www.rops.org/ Version 5.3 is 350kbytes and is free.
Another post code checker <http://www.dtg.org.uk/consumer/coverage.html
Transmitter information (giving channel numbers for digital)
<http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/transmitters.html
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Alan
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They might have done better by checking your aerial installation...
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*Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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